December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas And A Happy New Year

Anyone with any brains is not reading the news at the moment, let alone this stupid blog. They are busy enjoying a well-deserved (perhaps) holiday, seeing their family etc. Such is the life of a modern day wage slave.

The obstinate fools who insist on reading the news are greeted with countless horror stories which the powers that be leak out while nobody is watching. It's a great time of year to tie up loose ends.

Take the Haneef affair. No heads will roll, even though the judicial arm of government has found it was a massive cock-up. Rudd doesn't want to know, the AFP have aleady "moved on", yadda yadda.

Who gives a shit about some loser from India anyway?

Same with David Hicks. Sure, he's free now but the cops can frame him for anything they like in a few hours, and who is going to believe that crazy terrorist Hicks? You sure you wanna talk to the media, boy? Go ahead - make my day.

Or what about this crap? Condi Rice says history will vindicate the Bush administration. Sure it will, if we keep going the way we are going! What's Obama gonna do about it? If he tries to bring the criminals to jail (not that he WANTS to, of course) they just launch a deadly wave of (e.g.) anthrax attacks that kill a million people, and everyone starts talking about what a great job the Bush people did of protecting Teh Fatherland.

And I guess you saw that little story about how US troops won't really leave Iraq, they will just be renamed "training forces", etc etc. As if that wasn't obvious.

But did you see this little nugget from TPM? The US real estate market is about to crash into oblivion because the banks think the Federal Reserve emergency money is actually intended as capital to launch aggressive takeovers of other banks. You read that right. And there are no strings attached, of course. And who cares about those naughty real estate agents anyway? They have been making fortunes over and over every few months for a decade.

Oh, but waiting a minute, they will just take the money and run, which means the real losers will be...???


The Kleptocracy are still stuffing the loot into their bags, the alarms are ringing like crazy, but no cops are coming because they are manning the roadblocks that stop any concerned citizens from seeing what's going on.

Meanwhile, the polar ice caps are still melting, the seas are still rising - and your taxpayer money is being spent on keeping the automobile giants afloat! Yes, the guys who bought out patents like the orbital engine so they could suppress the competition. The guys who colluded with the oil companies for so long. The guys who convinced everybody they needed cars that could do 360 kmph in 50 zones, and SUVs for the inner city traffic jams. Those guys.

Happy Christmas, dear reader, whoever you are (yes, I know it's only you Bukko). I hope 2009 is a year when Intelligence stocks (not the CIA version) will bounce back from near oblivion, but the indicators are not good. Teh Stupid still rules, and the angry mobs are likely to talk it up as the world hurtles even further into the abyss.

Such is life.

PS: hat-tip whatsisface for the cartoon.

December 22, 2008

How Did I Get Here, Mommy?

When the chairman of the Fed told Bush that he would need $700 billion just to keep the US economy from tanking, Bush apparently took a deep breath and said:
"How did we get here?"
You have to wonder whether he really didn't know the answer to that question, or whether it was more of a rhetorical musing, such as "Oh my god, what have I done?"

Did Bush really believe the hype about endless free markets producing endless bounty for everyone? Didn't he notice that the people who most ardently championed that philosophy were the Ken Lays, the Murdochs, the multi-billionaires who were screwing the system every inch of the way? Was he really so lacking in curiosity that he just took their "trickle-down" promises at face value?

Or did he know full well that this was the scam of the century, and that the perpetrators' need for his camera-facing role as an abettor was the only reason he was ever allowed anywhere near the White House?

How thick is that bubble he lives in? And how thick is that self-created bubble of self-delusion inside his head?

December 21, 2008

Nothing To See Here, Folks

At midnight tonight, the control order on David Hicks will expire, and he will again become a free man for all intents and purposes.

Hick's father Terry, who finally got to meet John Howard even if it was by accident, says his son will be focussing on rehab. It's now been confirmed for all intents and purposes that the Howard government was given video-taped evidence of Hick's torture.
Details of the faxed document sent from the US embassy on April 4, 2002, were obtained under Freedom of Information legislation. The AFP has refused to release the letter, saying the information in it was provided by an overseas agency on the condition it not be passed on.

AFP officers and ASIO agents travelled to Guantanamo Bay several times to question Hicks and Mr Habib.

The Washington Post reported this year that the Bush administration had in 2002 and 2003 advised all foreign governments it would videotape the interrogation of their nationals.

Documents obtained by the Post show identical cables sent to foreign governments, which read: "The United States will videotape and sound record the interviews between representatives of your government and the detainee(s) named above ... "

The CIA has admitted possessing interrogation tapes that do not involve US officials. It is understood the tapes were forwarded to the CIA from countries that conducted interrogations of terrorist suspects under the US rendition program.
Meanwhile, the Iraqi parliament still has not passed a law legitimizing the presence of foreign troops beyond this year. Aside from the US and UK, who have pledge to remove troops by July 2009, the only countries with troops remaining in Iraq are El Salvador, Romania, Estonia and... Australia.

Meanwhile, another mysterious double cable cut off the coast of Egypt.

December 18, 2008

George Tenet The Anti-Semite

I guess we shouldn't be too surprised to learn that George Tenet wrote off his neoconservative colleagues in the Bush administration as a bunch of "Jews" who were "setting him up."

But it's interesting that he did it drunk on Scotch in Saudi Prince Bandar's pool.

I've been repeatedly banned from supposedly "progressive" leftwing Web sites for pointing out the same thing while fully sober.

Some of the comments at HuffPo are interesting...
This is news? Oi vey! He didn't mean anything, he was just drunk. Anyway, he's a Greek schmuck. Let's Move On...

December 17, 2008


Sure, Raimondo gets some things wrong, but this is right:
The shoe-wielding Iraqi television reporter, one Muntadar al-Zeidi, managed to sum up, in a single gesture, how much of the world feels about the 43rd president of the United States – including Americans.
Reacting to suggestions that al-Zeidi will face court he says "the very idea that Iraq is a place where the rule of law exists is nothing but a very bad joke."


The UK Independent says the explosion of viral video about the incident confirms that Bush's presidency is ending in humiliation:
So Muntazer al-Zaidi has been arrested, and could face several years in jail, despite the fact that he's supported by vast numbers of demonstrating Sunnis and Shias, in a country that has been "given back to the Iraqis". The man should be hailed Man of the Year. And if politicians really want to reconnect politics with the people, his example should be copied.
"The people"? Who are these people you speak of???

Today I got an email from a lady named Ann Paterson who did a university thesis on "Public Relations and the new agenda-setters -developing relationships with bloggers". The main aim of her thesis seems to be working out a way for the PR industry to take advantage of bloggers' growing credibility. After responding to her initial enquiry about why I blog, I am quoted in the report saying that:
"political blogs are important today because the media is failing to do its job properly. This [is] partly because they are unable (for legal reasons) to say the things that bloggers can say (particularly those of us who write under a pseudonym). But it is also because the media today is tightly controlled by the corporate elite, who also bankroll all the major Western political parties."
So will Ms Paterson's friends in the PR industry be approaching me with lucrative financial offers?

Hey, Bukko! You should try Sorbent Toilet Tissue! It's really soft on your fat arse!

Oi! WP! You oughta get yourself down to Cancun for a holiday! I can give you the address of a little estancia where they really know how to treat angry, alienated, bloggers with TLC!

Ha ha ha! Sorry, Ms Paterson, but that's the entire extent of my much-vaunted powers these days. I'm not even sure that WP is reading any more. Why would he, when I've already quit the blogging business a dozen times and barely been able to string together a coherent thought for six months.

Now let's go take a look at the shooting of 11-year-old Rhys Jones, a Liverpool boy who was gunned down on his way home from football practice:
Like the killing of the toddler, James Bulger, in the same part of the country in 1993, the death provoked national shock, as Rhys was named the youngest victim of gang violence in Britain. But the truth was that, unlike the Bulger killing, such a tragedy was long on the cards.

Violence on the sprawling housing estates of Croxteth and Norris Green had been growing for years before Rhys got caught in the cross-fire. Police had recorded 80 incidents of vandalism and violence linked to two rival gangs in the area. There had even been two killings, in 2004 and 2006. These shootings made little impact on the national consciousness because the victims were gang members and older.

Sean Mercer, who was sentenced yesterday to life imprisonment for Rhys's killing, was well known to the police too. He had been stopped on scores of occasions by the authorities and given an anti-social behaviour order for harassing staff at Croxteth Sports Centre. Mercer was also only 16 years old when he set out from his home with a gun to kill a rival.

Yet Mercer was no exception in his youth. Several of his fellow gang members, found guilty this week of helping him to evade arrest, were all teenagers. So we have here a picture of rampant criminality in which the gang members are young enough to be in school, and yet have easy access to firearms. This was the lethal milieu from which this murderer sprang.

But there are deeper social problems here too. It is true that many local Croxteth residents rushed to pass on Mercer's name to the police when Rhys' death hit the headlines. But the manner in which the immediate estate on which Mercer lived closed ranks to help him evade justice, despite the horrendous crime that had been committed, was disturbing. Friends of Mercer helped him destroy physical evidence linking him to the killing. He was given an alibi. It took eight months of police surveillance and the testimony of a disaffected gang member to build the case necessary to put Mercer on trial.

For several residents of this estate, defending one of their own was apparently regarded as more important than bringing the killer of an 11-year-old boy to justice. Why? One of the police officers who worked on the case has noted that "many gang members are the third generation of families who have never worked. Crime is all they know and so have no normality to be rehabilitated into."
Is anyone else seeing the parallels to George W. Bush's criminal administration?

Or is it just me, as usual.


The News Sucks

Some stories just break your heart.

The solution, obviously, is to stop reading the news.

Or not.

Nobody Could Have Guessed...

That entire US government departments were riddled with corruption. It's not just the SEC, of course, but how far down this rabbit hole do the people of the USA really want to go?

Failing To See? Or Failing To Say?

Asking the question, Is George W Bush the worst ever US president?, a Guardian UK journalist speaks the unspeakable truth that his colleagues in the US media do not dare to say:
If the foremost duty of a president, as US commander-in-chief, is to protect the American people from murderous attack by foreign enemies, then Bush clearly failed momentously on 11 September 2001. He failed to see al-Qaida coming and failed lamentably to stop them.
OK, let's ignore the "failed to see" thing for now... The UK journo then avoids saying another even more unmentionable truth in the very next sentence:
Yet much the same could be said of the otherwise admired Roosevelt, who was caught napping by the Japanese at Pearl Harbour in 1941.
"Caught napping"? Does he even hint at the vaguest idea of a False Flag event? No, and it's all downhill from there...
Bush's personal behaviour has been exemplary compared to many incumbents, and notably that of his immediate predecessor, the intern-challenged Clinton.
Sigh. Yes, we all know a blowjob is worse that a million deaths.

He goes on to conclude that Bush was NOT the worst President ever. You have to wonder how much these guys get paid, and by whom.

Deny, Deny, Deny... and then Admit but Shrug Off

Cheney was key in clearing CIA interrogation tactics
Reporting from Washington -- Vice President Dick Cheney said Monday that he was directly involved in approving severe interrogation methods used by the CIA, and that the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, should remain open indefinitely.

Cheney's remarks on Guantanamo appear to put him at odds with President Bush, who has expressed a desire to close the prison, although the decision is expected to be left to the incoming administration of President-elect Barack Obama.

Cheney's comments also mark the first time that he has acknowledged playing a central role in clearing the CIA's use of an array of controversial interrogation tactics, including a simulated drowning method known as waterboarding.

"I was aware of the program, certainly, and involved in helping get the process cleared," Cheney said in an interview with ABC News.

Asked whether he still believes it was appropriate to use the waterboarding method on terrorism suspects, Cheney said: "I do."

His comments come on the heels of disclosures by a Senate committee showing that high-level officials in the Bush administration were intimately involved in reviewing and approving interrogation methods that have since been explicitly outlawed and that have been condemned internationally as torture.

Soon after the Sept. 11 attacks, Cheney said, the CIA "in effect came in and wanted to know what they could and couldn't do. And they talked to me, as well as others, to explain what they wanted to do. And I supported it."

Waterboarding involves strapping a prisoner to a tilted surface, covering his face with a towel and dousing it to simulate the sensation of drowning.

CIA Director Michael V. Hayden has said that the agency used the technique on three Al Qaeda suspects in 2002 and 2003. But the practice was discontinued when lawyers from the Department of Justice and other agencies began backing away from their opinions endorsing its legality.

Cheney has long defended the technique. But he has not previously disclosed his role in pushing to give the CIA such authority.

Cheney's office is regarded as the most hawkish presence in the Bush administration, pushing the White House toward aggressive stances on the invasion of Iraq and the wiretapping of U.S. citizens.

Asked when the Guantanamo Bay prison would be shut down, Cheney said, "I think that that would come with the end of the war on terror." He went on to say that "nobody can specify" when that might occur, and likened the use of the detention facility to the imprisonment of Germans during World War II.

"We've always exercised the right to capture the enemy and hold them till the end of the conflict," Cheney said.

The administration's legal case for holding detainees indefinitely has been eroded by a series of court rulings. Obama has pledged to close the facility, which still holds 250 prisoners.

Cheney's remarks are the latest in a series of interviews granted by Bush and senior officials defending their decisions as they prepare to leave office. Bush recently said his main regret was that U.S. spy agencies had been so mistaken about Iraq's alleged weapons programs. Cheney and the Bush administration have been accused of "cherry-picking" intelligence to support going to war with Iraq.

Cheney said that those mistakes didn't matter, and that the U.S. invasion was justified by Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's ability to reestablish destructive weapons programs. The vice president brushed off a series of findings questioning that view, including a 2006 Senate report concluding that Hussein lacked a "coherent effort" to develop nuclear weapons and had only a "limited capability" for chemical weapons.

"This was a bad actor and the country's better off, the world's better off, with Saddam gone, and I think we made the right decision in spite of the fact that the original [intelligence] was off in some of its major judgments," he said.

December 16, 2008

With Knowledge Comes Responsibility
Mr Shepherd said he chose to seek asylum in Germany for several reasons: he was stationed in Germany when he decided to desert and couldn't find a way back to the US.

Germany was also significant, he said, for the historical context of the Nuremberg trials, which established the principle "that everyone, especially a soldier, is responsible for their own actions."

When asked why he joined the military in 2004, when the issue of the war's illegality was already known, Mr Shepherd said:

"I struggled through life, twice I was homeless. I didn't have access to the materials that I did when I was in Germany(...) when you look at the media in the United States, it's completely different than what it is in Europe. It's always slanted to make everything good, so you keep the war movement going."

Mr Shepherd said it was the duty of all American citizens to stand up to put an out-of-control government back on the right path and that he didn't see himself as a traitor.

December 15, 2008

Distilling The Essence

Beautiful prose:
For years now, everyone from Pat Buchanan to hybrid-powered hippies have been warning that America would suddenly find itself on a historical downslope from having been too reckless, too profligate, and too arrogant as an unopposed superpower. Even decent patriotic folk were starting to worry that America was suffering from a classic case of Celebrity Personality Disorder, becoming a nation of Tom Cruise party-dicks dancing in our socks over every corner and every culture in the world, lip-synching about freedom as we plunged headfirst into as much risky business as we could mismanage. And now, bleeding money from endless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, we're a sick giant hooked on ever-pricier doses of oil paid for with a currency few people want anymore. In the history books of the future, I would wager that this very spot in Tskhinvali will be remembered as both the geographic highwater mark of the American empire, and the place where it all started to fall apart.
You have to wonder why it is not on the cover of the New York Times, don't you?

December 14, 2008

Told You So

From David Sirota:
Please, forgive me for saying it. I know it's a tad annoying, but it has to be said to America's ruling class in this humble column space. Because if it's not said here you can bet it won't be said anywhere else in the media, and it needs to be said somewhere on behalf of the millions of citizens who were right.

We told you so.
He's talking about the economy, but he could just as easily be talking about Iraq or Afghanistan or CIA secret gulags or 911 or a host of other issues.

The true nature of the Bush administration has always been obscured to the public by a compliant media and secretive officialdom, but now it is revealed as basically a Kleptocracy, built to steal every cent for the ultra-rich. Everyone is now asking where all the money went, but it's long been channelled off-shore.

The mega-rich today are not bound by national boundaries and the people of the USA will never see that money again, unless they happen to take a holiday in Sint Marten, Bermuda or the Seychelles.

The same thing has been happening elsewhere, of course, to a greater or lesser extent.

So now what? Do we queue up for handouts from these mega-rich criminals? Do we let their money keep controlling our governments around the world?

There has to be some kind of a popular revolution on the way. Hopefully it is a peaceful one, but probably it won't be. And it could take decades to arrive - I might not see it in my lifetime, and I'm only 44.

I think there is a line in Lord of The Rings where a huge, defining battle is looming and somebody cries out, "Pity the man who has lived to see this day!"

At least some of us, including those of us who "Told You So" long ago, already CAN see what's going on today (whether we choose to "do" anything about it or not). Millions of others still have not woken up to the grim reality.

The waking up process is not very pleasant - a bit like Keanu Reeves emerging alone and shocked from his mechanical egg, soaked in goo...

"So Saddam never had WMDs or ties to terrorists? It was just an excuse to grab the oil and control the Middle East? But that means we've murdered a million Iraqis... for nothing!"

"911 was a false flag attack? Really? But... why would they do that to us? And why didn't the media say something?"

"The anthrax killers were on the government payroll and protected by the head of the FBI? But that means they are still out there, and could strike at any time..."

"They are monitoring my phone calls and my emails? But that means we're already living in a Stalinist state, an Orwellian nightmare..."

It's past time to draw some hard conclusions about the state of the world.

December 08, 2008

Thou Shalt Not Worship False Gods

Just Kill Me Now

Rudd hails new A-Span TV network
Sky News, Foxtel and Austar have joined together to launch A-Span, a
new public affairs television network and an initiative of the Federal
Government's 2020 Summit.
Teh Democracy from Teh Murdoch! With Teh Taxpayer support! No wonder Kev looks like he's on drugs.

December 02, 2008


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